If all 3 of these make it to market and perform as advertized the “volt” has just been grounded.
This feels like a dog and pony show designed to get free money from Los Federales. An electric Lotus Europa already exists in the market, they call it the Tesla Roadster, and Tesla has proven you can’t make money selling them for $100k. So is Chrysler actually going to sell a $100k car? Highly doubt it. They will, however, convince the idiots in Congress to give them a couple billion for “R&D”, then quietly shelve it due to “feasibility reasons.”
In this climate, they can’t sell the kind of bailout they got from the government in the 70’s, so they have to disguise it under a cloak of alternative energy development. This may have been Cerberus’ plan all along, who knows.
The tesla is not a europa its a elise and even if mopar can shave off 20-30% from tesla’s price (easy given the shared components across 3 product lines) its a lot more attractive. Its amazing to me, younguns howl for innovation, then scream when it comes from “the man”. I think they have much more viability than some of the wack job products (that aero 3 wheeler for example) in that these guys know how to mass produce, have a dealership network in place, and the expertiese in bringing mass production products to reality. Are you bent because they used a known light weight chassis and not some new “designer” thing that has little hope of making production. The use of the lotus, is smart, in production, developed, consumer accepted, and can be converted into a higher production level product with ease. Oh I know, its not “new” well screw new, give me something that works, not fairy dust and unobtainium.
I bet Chrysler is buying the Tesla for that Europa concept. The Europa is a slightly stretched Elise, so the Tesla’s mechanicals would be plug and play.
That makes me think all of these things are Tesla components in old Chrysler cars. Note that none of these is a bespoke design, such as the Volt.
Chrysler’s been chopping design and engineering since they were privatized. I’ll kiss my own butt if we see anything over 50 of these being built in 2010.
I agree, they’re just scheming for cash as usual, and screw the consumers.
This comes so soon after this new bill practically eliminated any tax breaks for Toyota and Honda, I have to believe that this is exactly what you say: a government handout in disguise.
Its a shame really. The massive amounts of new production tooling, new engineering requirements, and new thinking that is necessary to begin such a huge shift is also an opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate.
its a bet.
The tesla is not a europa its a elise
The Europa and Elise have more parts commonality than the Tesla and Elise. They are all three essentially the same car once you take the skin off.
Are you bent because they used a known light weight chassis and not some new “designer” thing that has little hope of making production.
I’m not “bent” at all. Chrysler’s salvation is in rebadging Lotuses? Really? This is a sham. Mark my words- they will come back and ask for money for “tooling” or “development” or “battery research.” “We’ve got these great cars that will keep thousands of people employed, we just need $XXXXXXXXXX to retool our plants and wrap up development of our battery technology.”
The use of the lotus, is smart, in production, developed, consumer accepted, and can be converted into a higher production level product with ease. Oh I know, its not “new” well screw new, give me something that works, not fairy dust and unobtainium.
The Elise / Tesla / Europa design doesn’t benefit much from economy of scale cost reductions. The materials are expensive. Anyway, most of the cost is in the battery pack, has Chrysler suddenly found a way to solve that?
Oh, and please don’t paint me with your broad “fairy designer” brush you like to wave around here. You don’t have any idea what my bio is. (Or what I think about Lotus- I was on the order list for the original Elise in England a couple weeks after it launched, and I’ll most likely put my name down for an Evora.)
the volt coupe concept was originally supposed to be like $25K i think. The chrysler sports car version is definitely more telsa/fiskar like at likely would be $60K+ at best. not in the same territory. the rest are just existing models so nothing special.
If they perhaps could take the same thinking (by any company) and make a good small car an EV, such as Pontiac Solstice, Chrysler Crossfire (i don’t really like, but it’s close), etc. they might have something. EV needs to be s3xy to shake off the hippie/stodgy vibe. EV should be a young people’s thing and young people want small, fun to drive cars not jsut minivans and sedans, IMHO. Those can come later…
owned and worked on loti and if anything could be redesigned for mass production they could.
yes they need to be fun and hip not a drag. so bring on the 2 seat roadster and i dont care where they came from orignaly.
Just to clarify a common misconception… the federal government did not loan Chrysler any money in the 1979 “bailout.”
The Feds guaranteed the loans that Chrysler acquired from the private sector. Kinda like Uncle Sam co-signing a loan. The Feds held a lean on company assets as colateral. They also required Chrysler to perform a host of internal cost cuts.
The K-cars were a hit and Chrysler repaid the gov’t backed loans ahead of schedule.
It bugs me to this day that the public thinks tax money was spent to save Chrysler.
1979 Time Magazine article
funny thing is you still see a lot of the “k” type cars on the road to this day, that 2.2 and 2.5 drive train is as close as any domestic has come to a toyota…
Thanks for the info. I was of course a kid at the time and never read the details. An interesting footnote in that article: John Riccardo, the CEO who was pushed out as a consequence of the “bailout,” was paid $343,339 his last year. What’s Nardelli getting?
They weren’t privatized because they where never a government held corporation. Wrong word.
They were a publicly held company that is now privately held. That’s what I meant. I like using words wrong.
As predicted, a huge government “investment” in alternative energy with the “big 3” was announced today… I didn’t want to believe it, but it is true…
I’m not surprised.
I wish the government would invest in the companies that are already heavily invested and ahead of the curve, rather than the usual suspects. The environment is a global problem. If the gov. gets involved, it should support Honda and Toyota more than the big 3. I bet if they did, the big 3 would hustle to not get left behind the next time…
why use domestic tax dollars to fund a off shore company? Why use us tax money to put more japanese/koreans/germans on the production lines? Why use US tax money to support forgin r and d investment? If you like that notion the pony up YOUR bucks and buy stock in honda/toyota…
For a few reasons:
The problem being addressed is global in nature. Just like the big 3 source parts from around the world in order to find the quality and price they need, the government should too. Now, this is assuming we want the government to be this active in solving the problem. If the government has the choice between a bunch of lazy companies looking for hand outs so they can do crap work and forward thinking companies that are already much further advanced in the technology, I think the decision is a no brainer: go global.
The money will come back. At least for Honda and Toyota. They both have R&D in the US. Design, sales, marketing, dealers, manufacturing too. It’s not so easy in 2008.